There are many different types of infections that develop during the postpartum period. While rare (5-7% of postpartum women), some can be serious and life-threatening if not treated. The most common types of infection are surgical site infections (SSIs) and endometritis. Other postpartum infections include mastitis (breast infections) and urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Endometritis is also known as a uterine infection. It’s more common after cesarean deliveries, but still occurs after 1-2% of vaginal births. SSIs are when the surgical wound following caesarean section (or rarely, the perineal tear or episiotomy wound) gets infected. The occurrence decreases dramatically when the patient receives a preventative antibiotic, which is routine after cesarean deliveries and when Group B strep is found.
The following increase the risk for postpartum infections:
Infections are treated with antibiotics, which may be administered via IV if severe.